News in Brief: Exxon Scores Huge Profits as Gas Prices Rise, and More

Exxon Scores Huge Profits as Gas Prices Rise

Gas prices are up, and so are Big Oil's profit margins. Oil giant ExxonMobil posted a $10.65 billion first-quarter profit margin today, according to The Hill. Exxon's profit margin is 69 percent higher than in the first quarter last year. Other oil companies like Shell have seen higher profits due to high gas prices and higher refining margins. The high profit margins did not go unnoticed by President Obama, who made public statements urging the industry to invest in sustainable energy.

Media Will See Manning's New Cell

The Army will allow the media to tour the military prison in Kansas where Pfc. Bradley Manning was transferred last week amidst allegations that he was being mistreated at Quantico, according to The Advocate. Manning is accused of leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks and is facing nearly two dozen charges. An army spokesperson said the media would be able to view the conditions Manning will be living in. The conditions of Manning's prior solitary confinement outraged his family, supporters and human rights activists.

Half of Americans Breathing Polluted Air

About half of the American population lives in areas where the air is so polluted with smog and particles that it is sometimes dangerous to breathe, according to the Environment News Service. In its annual report on air pollution and human health, the American Lung Association admitted that the United States had made some progress in reducing air pollution, but 154.5 million Americans are still inhaling dangerous amounts of pollution. The society issued a warning aimed at legislators seeking to weaken the Clean Air Act.

FEMA Deploys in South; Severe Weather Still a Threat

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is deploying in Alabama and other southern states and is working closely with state and local officials to provide relief to areas hit by tornadoes and severe storms, according to a White House press release. FEMA is urging residents of Alabama and other southern states to stay tuned to weather radio and follow instructions issued by officials as severe weather could continue in the region.